Enough is Enough!

Hi Everyone,

In the last 48 hours I have been witness to some of the worst sales behaviour ever.

The other night a telemarketer called our house, I answered, and she asked me if she could “speak to the lady of the house”. I was at a loss for words so I just hung up. My husband told me I should have responded “there is no lady in this house!” To that he received a dirty look and a punch in the shoulder.

Today I was left a voice mail from a company that sells applicant tracking systems for staffing companies. Her voice mail said “I’m following up to see what type of applicant tracking system you use.” If she had taken 2 moments to check out my website she could tell that I am not a staffing company nor a target client. Instead she wasted her time and my voice mail space.

Last week a specialty meat company called and left me a message asking how I “enjoyed the free sample they sent me”. Of course, there was never a free sample. Am I really stupid enough to believe that they would send a raw steak in the mail in the middle of summer?

Horrific sales calls like these three are proof that sales people don’t spend time preparing for their calls. Here are three simple things to prepare for each time you make a call:

1) Know who you are calling and be able to ask for them by name.

2) Research the company you are prospecting in order to have a relevant discussion about their business, AND

3) Develop an honest sales technique to engage with prospects. (For more on this, and the basis for the work I do in Honesty in Sales do see my partner www.stevengaffney.com)

Sales people say to me that my sales techniques are simplistic, the basics, and not Rocket Science. To that I respond “You’re darned toot’n they’re the basics!” Why? Because I get calls like this everyday where the basics (Be Nice, Stay Foced and Get to Work!) are getting ignored and sales people are losing business. Until we get the basics right, and are using them 100% of the time, we have no business trying to implement advanced techniques.

Dedicated to increasing your sales,


4 responses to “Enough is Enough!

  1. Great article Colleen.

    I also believe in honing the sales basics. Benjamin Franklin once said that “If I have only 4 hours to take down a tree, I’ll spend the first three hours sharpening my saw.”

    Many fledgling salespeople are hoping to read a book and become superstar salespeople overnight! We both know that it just doesn’t work that way!

  2. It’s wasn’t the word “lady” that got my back up so much as the fact that they did not know my name. My number one rule for cold calling is – Know Who You are Calling -. They did not know my name, my gender, nor my age. If they have checked the demographics and know that I was under 60 they would never have used such an antiquated term

    I also have to admit that as a term “lady of the house” sounds demeaning to me. It implies that there is also a “man of the house” and that I could not be in this “house” on my own. I guess it’s the feminist sensibility in me!

  3. I appreciate your clarification Colleen, and do keep that feminist sensibility! I fully agree on the use of your name. With the information available to marketers today, if they don’t know your name they shouldn’t be calling.

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